Freezing, or in the Process of

I miss snow.

My heart’s been pretty wintry the past few days. It feels like it might just as well snow and get on with it.

The Gateway

The Gateway

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Adopted, Part 2 (of many)

Abandoned
Ungrateful
Silenced
Dismissed
Misunderstood
Rejected
Unlike
Disconnected
Deserted
Different

I started the list as a way to organize my thoughts for this post. But the more I looked at it, the more it looked finished the way it was.

It’s how I feel. And I get so tired of having to justify how I feel.

My husband, my children, have no idea how to respond to my feelings of abandonment. They’re kind and sympathetic, certainly, but I can see the puzzlement behind their eyes. “You have us now. You’re not alone.”

Yes, I am.

I will never be whole, no matter how much I try to fill the hole. The first, most important person in my life rejected me. Gave me to strangers “because she loved me so much.” (THERE’S the lie that burns worse than all others.)

I’m tired of staying silent to protect the feelings of my adopted family. I’m tired of trying to explain unexplainable feelings. I’m tired of smiling when you ask me if I’m Grateful for my adoptive family. (I actually am grateful. But wanting to know who I am does not mean I am Ungrateful. It means I am human.) I’m really, REALLY tired of “experts” telling me that the separation from my mother at birth cannot possibly still affect me, that it’s utter nonsense that I’d have those memories and remember that trauma.

Lesli Johnson wrote a piece for the Huffington Post earlier this year that articulates this truth better than I can. I’d love to print this on a card to hand to anyone who asks me about adoption.

So it’s probably better if you don’t ask me about adoption, unless you’re prepared to hear the truth. My truth.

My
Abandoned
Ungrateful
Silenced
Dismissed
Misunderstood
Rejected
Unlike
Disconnected
Deserted
Different
Truth.

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Existential Grammar

(Brushing away cobwebs) It’s been a long time.
NaBloWriMo is the perfect kick that I need to restart this habit.

So to ease back in, here is a glimpse of the things that take up room in my head. Room that would be better used to remember things like the names of everyday objects and the dates of haircut appointments.

If something is pointless, can it then be pointful?
Why isn’t the adjective form of sarcasm sarcasmic?
If one can be discombobulated, can one then be combobulated? Or is it just bobulated?
If the past tense of lay is laid, then why isn’t the past tense of play plaid?
Can one be just whelmed?

Hand With Reflecting Sphere, MC Escher, 1935

Hand With Reflecting Sphere, MC Escher, 1935

Please feel free to add your questions. I would love to hear your Existential Grammar musings.

That is, unless I’m the only one who spends brain cells on this stuff.

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File this under “If You’re Not Outraged, You Haven’t Been Paying Attention.” I started work in the health Insurance field in 1982, and even back then I realized that the real problem with insurance costs wasn’t the cost of providing insurance, it was the cost of obtaining medical care. Does anyone have the power or the will to address this national disgrace?

Health & Family

Corrections Appended: February 26, 2013

1. Routine Care, Unforgettable Bills
When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.

Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.

Stephanie was then…

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Just Like Today

The New World Trade Center, June 2012

The sky was crystal blue, just like today. It was a Tuesday (just like today.) I was doing my job, teaching people how to do things, just like today. A colleague rushed into my room and grabbed me by the shoulders. They’ve bombed the Pentagon, she said. No one knows where they will hit next, she said. Her eyes were wild. She paused a moment, then fled. I thought she must be overreacting. I turned on the TV in my room and watched without breathing the world change forever.

I heard as through a down pillow the words of the news reporter: twin towers, jetliners, accident, planned, terrorists, North Tower, South Tower, the Pentagon. The White House is being evacuated, the Sears tower is being evacuated, my senses are being evacuated. Then my eyes watched on live television as thousands of people who had things to do and lives to live and people to hold and children to raise and parents to make proud and friends to laugh with become…no more. Just…no more.

You must breathe now. (Just like today.)

Later, after the unbelieving chaos of the day smoothed itslef like a clean sheet onto an old bed (covering things that you would rather not think about) I walked out into the still-alive early Autumn weather under a perfect blue sky entirely devoid of jet trails and wondered what the next few days would hold. The world that had changed forever still looked so blue and hopeful and promising.

And still I had to remind myself to breathe (just like today).

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Ode to Computer Maintenance

Watching the Green Bar
crawl by microns across screens
steals my life in bits

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My Heart Went to Space With Sally Ride

My heart went to space with Sally Ride.
The first woman in space I dreamed would be me
Had hair curlier than mine
And a smile warmer than mine
And a mind much sharper than mine
But she had my heart.

It felt the rumble of the rockets at takeoff
And our heart paused for a shred of a second.
Then our heart fluttered
Watching the sky from the cocoon of our seat
Moving from blue to deeper blue to indigo to black.

But the stars — Oh, the stars.
“The stars aren’t bigger, but they are brighter,”
said the astronaut with my heart.

The sight of stars
Which always always cause my heart to swell
And my breathing to slow,
The sight of stars from space (breathe deep)

And the song began.
A sound like the resonance of finest crystal
Felt first, then heard
By the shared heart that lifted itself to sing
To SING
To join the most ancient and deep and profound of songs
The hum, the chant, the symphony of the Universe.

My heart went to space with Sally Ride.
It sings the crystalline melody still.

Sally Ride on the Flight Deck of STS7

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